Howard & Eva McCully, Founders of
|the McCully Heritage Project
In the 1970s, Howard and Eva McCully moved to Calhoun County and purchased the first parcel of what would eventually become the 940 acres that make up the McCully Heritage Project. The McCullys owned a nursery in the St. Louis area and retired to Calhoun County, bringing their green thumbs with them. Mr. McCully planted thousands of trees on the property, replacing crop and hay fields with trees. Today over 90 percent of the property is forested. The farm was registered as an official Illinois Tree Farm, and Mr. McCully won the award of Statewide Outstanding Tree Farmer in 1984.
The McCullys enjoyed sharing their land with others and in the late 1980s they began the process of establishing the McCully Heritage Project as a non-profit environmental and cultural heritage center. The McCully Heritage Project was established as an official non-profit organization in 1990.
Eva McCully passed away in 1994 and Howard passed away only a year and a half later in 1995. The couple is buried behind the 19th Century log cabin that Mr. McCully reconstructed on the property.
The mission of the McCully Heritage Project is to provide facilities and programs for high quality environmental education and research for youth and adults and to provide the opportunity for the public to appreciate the cultural, historical and natural resources of the lower Illinois River valley.
This mission is accomplished through the following goals:
1) Engage in responsible land stewardship and act as an example for fellow landowners.
2) Provide opportunities for the public to engage with the natural environment.
3) Provide opportunities for environmental and historical research.
4) Provide outreach activities to inform the public about the cultural, historical and natural resources of the lower Illinois River valley.